KANSAS JAYHAWKS (6-1)
at GEORGETOWN HOYAS (5-2)
Verizon Center - Washington DC
Tip-off: Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.
Line: Georgetown -2.5
No. 10 Kansas hits the road for the first time this season on Wednesday night as the Jayhawks take on Georgetown.
The Jayhawks (4-3 ATS) have played four neutral-site games early in the season, but will play their first true road game on Wednesday night. Since getting blown out 32 points by No. 1 Kentucky on Nov. 18, Kansas has ripped off five straight wins (4-1 ATS). In KUís last game against Florida on Friday, the Jayhawks were down 18 points early in the second half before storming back to get the 71-65 victory. Kansas will be missing some of its frontcourt depth, as PF Jamari Traylor is suspended from the game after his weekend arrest for interfering with a police officer. The Hoyas (2-1-1 ATS) have two losses on the season, with both of them being to top-25 foes (Wisconsin and Butler). The Georgetown defense has been great, as it has not allowed a team to score over 68 points. Head coach John Thompson IIIís team is coming off a 32-point home victory against Towson on Sunday, and the Hoyas have had a lot of success under Thompson after a win of 20+ points, going 32-11 ATS. However, the Jayhawks are 34-17 ATS on the road since 1997 after a win by 6 points or less. Last year, these two teams played in Lawrence, with Kansas rolling to an 86-64 win, outshooting Georgetown 54.3% FG to 40.7% FG.
Can Kansas extend its win streak with a road win at Georgetown? For the latest college basketball picks, check out The Platinum Sheet for all the Expert picks. The experts have begun the 2014-15 season with a bang, posting a collective 56% ATS mark (58-46) in Best Bets. The five experts are led by StatFox Gary's stellar 71% ATS mark (15-6), while StatFox Brian and StatFox Zach are both 60% ATS (12-8) to open the season.
The Jayhawks have had some struggles on the offensive end of the court this season, but they have done a solid job on the glass with 40.0 RPG (45th in nation). Kansas ranks 139th in NCAA shooting (41.9% FG), 160th in scoring (69.4 PPG) and 221st in assists (12.0 APG). PF Perry Ellis (14.6 PPG, 6.7 RPG) is becoming the focal point of the Jayhawks offense, and while he is struggling with his outside shot (18% threes), Ellis is more than capable of hitting from long range. SG Wayne Selden Jr. (9.6 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 3.3 APG) played a huge role in the comeback against Florida, as he was making plays by both scoring 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting. The Jayhawks need a third scorer to emerge, and freshman PF Cliff Alexander (10.0 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.3 BPG) struggled early this season in adjusting to the college game, but he has done a nice job of avoiding foul trouble the past few games. He has tremendous strength in the post, and he also possesses the athleticism to be a nightmare on the glass. PG Frank Mason III (10.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG and 3.4 APG) rolled his ankle in the Florida game, but he should be ready to play in this game.
The Hoyas are a terrific shooting team, ranking 16th in the country with their 50.1% FG mark. However, they have struggled in other areas, as they rank 106th in scoring (72.6 PPG), 154th in rebounding (35.9 RPG) and 154th in assists (13.1 APG). SG DíVauntes Smith-Rivera (14.4 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 3.3 APG) has shown the ability to be one of the top scoring guards in all of college basketball. In a game against Wisconsin earlier in the season, Smith-Rivera scored 29 points (11-of-18 FG, 5-of-6 threes). He can score both off the dribble and from the outside, and will force the Kansas defense to really focus on him. C Joshua Smith (12.7 PPG, 67% FG, 6.9 RPG) has played very well for the Hoyas, and if he can continue to play at this level, Georgetown has a chance to be a dangerous team later in the season. He has terrific agility and athleticism for a guy his size (6-foot-10, 350 pounds). SF L.J. Peak (8.6 PPG, 2.0 APG, 1.9 RPG) has shown flashes as a freshman, but has been inconsistent at times as well. The Hoyas need a legitimate third scorer if they are going to reach their potential, and this game could provide the opportunity for him to show that.